Dr. Rick Harper

WUWF Public Media

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a recent column by Haas Center Director Zach Jenkins, which looks at affordable housing for low-income families and what factors are affecting the rise in the cost of renting versus buying.

 

Harper said the issue is something the Haas Center has been following for quite some time and that Jenkins’ piece focuses on families who rent – and the findings are discouraging.

 

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the recession fears in the U.S., the volatility of world markets and a rise in the housing market.

The Federal Reserve’s acknowledgement of an economic downturn in financial markets at the end of 2015, despite a recovering jobs market is a concern for many, but there’s no reason to worry yet, according to Harper.

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses growth in leisure and hospitality as a driving factor in Pensacola’s economic growth.

In a recently published column, Harper wrote about how job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector has been steadily improving.

Harper said that job growth started at the end of the Great Recession in 2010, but was then stalled by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

University of West Florida

Though the housing market recovery is in full swing, a continued “weakened climb out” from the Great Recession has stymied its full potential.

Dr. Rick Harper, associate vice president for Research and Economic Opportunity at the University of West Florida, delivered that message and an economic forecast for 2016 during a meeting Wednesday of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and the Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Counties held at the Ramada Plaza Resort in Fort Walton Beach.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

About 200 people gathered at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center for breakfast Friday to celebrate accomplishments and set goals. The cause: ECARE, Every Child A Reader in Escambia.
 
State of Florida statistics gleaned from kindergarten readiness screening tests, indicate that about 1,200 Escambia County students arrive for the first day of kindergarten ill-prepared to learn. The ECARE membership, business leaders, educators, and volunteers have made it their mission to change this by building a strong foundation of early literacy skills in pre-school.

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the economic issues discussed in the State of the Union address and discusses how important education will be for job development in the Pensacola area.

In his final State of the Union address, President Barrack Obama began by assuring Americans that the U.S. economy is the strongest and most durable in the world.

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the recent Chinese stock market crisis and its possible lasting effects. Also, he predicts how the Pensacola-area economy will fare in 2016.

China’s stock market has had a rocky beginning to 2016, and that is feeding doubt among investors about the country’s economic stability.

“China is a source of great uncertainty right now,” Harper said. “We had the shortest trading day ever in China as a result of the market falling 7.3 percent in about half an hour, which led authorities to shut it down.”

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

Harper called the increase in the interest rate of a quarter of a percentage point “good news,” noting the Fed tracked the economy carefully and is responsible for maintaining both full employment and a low and stable price level nationally.

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what the slight rise in unemployment claims means for the economy and the possible changes to the state’s short sell mortgage laws.

 

The Dec. 5 unemployment claims are in, and the state’s initial claims have risen to their highest point in five months – up 13,000 to 282,000. But Harper says that’s no cause for alarm. Depending upon when the month ends, where Thanksgiving falls and where Christmas spending begins, the reports can be volatile from week to week.

 

 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what the increase in Thanksgiving weekend retail spending means for Florida, the possibility of increased short-term interest rates, and Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to create an economic development war chest.

 

Holiday shopping has begun. Coming out of what is traditionally the biggest retail weekend of the year, spending saw an increase over last year, but a modest one, Harper said.

 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the continuing boost in Florida’s tourism marketing and traffic, how the terrorist attacks in Paris may affect that traffic, and what’s ahead for holiday shopping.

Harper said Florida tourism has continued to grow in 2015 and should be on a pace to set a new record for the state.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a reduction in unemployment benefit claims, a healthier job markets and the success of the recent EntreCon business convention held Nov. 5-6 in Pensacola.

Harper said that both the weekly number and the four-week moving average for jobless claims are down well below 300,000 per week, which signals a “pretty decent jobs market.”

 

   In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses federal interest rates, gas prices and a recent Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. board of directors meeting in Miramar Beach.

As predicted, members of the Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates the same.

 

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses University of West Florida President Judith Bense’s 2015 state of the university address, as well as ongoing improvement in the U.S. housing market. 

Bense addressed a crowd of several hundred at the UWF Field House Thursday morning. The president, who will retire at the end of 2016, painted a mixed economic picture for the university. 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest Florida jobs report and the Federal Reserve’s decision to postpone increasing interest rates.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity this week released the jobs report for August, showing overall growth of 3.1 percent, or 243,000 new jobs, for the state.

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